Umay Ezgi Kadan. Image: Huawei
Umay Ezgi Kadan. Image: Huawei

5G tech is ‘very different’ compared to the previous generation

9 Dec 2022

Huawei Turkey’s Umay Ezgi Kadan did her master’s thesis on 5G and now she is working on some of the tech giant’s newest 5G R&D projects.

In the past decade, wireless communication technology has advanced considerably and no one knows this more than the people who are involved in R&D in the sector.

Umay Ezgi Kadan, 5G project manager at Huawei’s Turkey R&D centre, is one of them. Kadan has been working in the sector for eight years and has seen a lot of changes in that time ­– not least the widespread adoption of fifth-generation (5G) wireless tech.

The first 5G antennas in Europe were tested only as recently as 2017 in Berlin.

Kadan works with Huawei and its industry partners as a project manager on the latest 5G developments.

‘5G technology is really very different when we compare it to the previous generation because with 5G, in addition to getting some higher data rates or higher speeds, we can also have a more reliable and low-latency network’

She told about one of Huawei’s latest 5G collaborations with the agritech industry. It involved the Chinese tech giant teaming up with Austrian drone company Dronetech to provide its drones with 5G devices. Fitted with the wireless tech, the drones were able to scan crops in Austria and relay relevant data back to farmers, such as crop health and soil vitality.

Huawei and Dronetech are progressing on to the second stage of the project which will see teams work together on AI and cloud integrations.

Kadan and the multinational teams involved in the project hope that Huawei-powered 5G-enabled drones will soon be fit for mass adoption by farmers.

According to Kadan, her team’s involvement will really ramp up in the second phase of the project.

“Working on such a great project as a woman, personally, is a great opportunity for me,” she said.

Still rising in her career, she recalled that her master’s thesis in university was focused on 5G, so it’s a topic that holds great interest for her.

She is thankful to work for Huawei and hopes to do more ambitious projects in the future. “I’m really happy to be working in such a huge company, because it has always supported me in my career development.”

Her career so far has given her a lot of interesting insight into the roll-out of 5G which, itself, is a relatively new technology.

“5G technology is really very different when we compare it to the previous generation because with 5G, in addition to getting some higher data rates or higher speeds, we can also have a more reliable and low-latency network.”

This means 5G can be useful in a lot of industries from manufacturing to healthcare, with Kadan saying that it’s possible to “change our lives significantly” if we use it effectively and deploy it properly.

However, there are infrastructural challenges associated with implementing 5G worldwide, particularly in rural areas where farmers are most likely to base themselves.

Research has already found that traditional mobile systems are not suitable for drones, hence the need for telcos like Huawei to step in with 5G-enabled IoT devices.

But what if there’s no networks? “We can easily deploy this new technology with the help of the telecom operators,” said Kadan.

“The technical side is not on the same level as when we compare it to the city centre because in rural regions we haven’t enough infrastructure – that’s why we may not expect to get high data rates compared to the city centre.”

However, she said she believes that with continued work and co-operation from telcos, her team will be able to solve the tricky issue of deployment in rural areas in “three or four years.”

Earlier this year, Huawei debuted a host of 5G-enabled products at its annual Mobile World Congress event. Tech for sustainability was a particular focus of this year’s event, which was attended by manufacturers and tech vendors from around the world.

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea worked as a Careers reporter until 2024, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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